Education is an important aspect of the environmental influences on autism, and effective education can have a significant effect on outcome for those on the autism spectrum. This Handbook explores the key concepts, debates and research areas in this dynamic field. Contributions from a wide range of countries and cultures are organised into six key sections: Part 1: Learning Needs and Educational Responses; Part 2: Early Intervention, Education in Core Domains and Family Support; Part 3: School-Based and Academic Education: Access and Support; Part 4: Collaborative Working in Education; Part 5: Education for Life and Barriers to Education; Part 6: Data Collection in Education and Measurement of Progress. The SAGE Handbook of Autism and Education is a definitive resource for researchers, postgraduate students, reflective practitioners and teachers who wish to know and understand current views of the nature of autism, and best practice in educational support.

Particular Learning Needs of Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Particular Learning Needs of Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Particular learning needs of individuals on the autism spectrum
Rita Jordan


In some respects, autism can be regarded as an educational problem. This does not mean that it is the result of difficulties accessing education, as might be the case with dyslexia for example, but rather that those on the autism spectrum require education for aspects of development that others just acquire instinctively or intuitively. Human beings are born with very underdeveloped brains so that the way the brain develops depends on environmental as well as genetic influences; we inherit ‘memes’ as well as genes (Shennan, 2002). Unless we have autism, we have instinctive processes that create a ‘social brain’ (Brothers, 2002; Frith ...

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